DanceSyndrome shows disability should never be a barrier after winning award

A Lancashire-based charity is celebrating after being announced as the winners of a national business award.
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Jen and Sue Blackwell from DanceSyndrome were announced as the winners of the Charity Champion Award at the Best Businesswomen Awards which took place on Friday, September 30, at The Hilton, Wembley.

The Charity Champion Award celebrates a female founder of a charity that has had a huge impact on its service users.

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DanceSyndrome was founded by Jen, 40, from Chorley, who has Down's syndrome, with support from her mum Sue, because they found it difficult to find opportunities in community dance that were accessible to Jen and other people with learning disabilities.

Founders of DanceSyndrome Sue and Jen Blackwell from Chorley were announced as the winners of the Charity Champion Award at the Best Businesswomen Awards which took place on Friday, September 30, at The Hilton, WembleyFounders of DanceSyndrome Sue and Jen Blackwell from Chorley were announced as the winners of the Charity Champion Award at the Best Businesswomen Awards which took place on Friday, September 30, at The Hilton, Wembley
Founders of DanceSyndrome Sue and Jen Blackwell from Chorley were announced as the winners of the Charity Champion Award at the Best Businesswomen Awards which took place on Friday, September 30, at The Hilton, Wembley

It works across the North West with the ethos that disability should never be a barrier to following your dreams. All sessions are disability led, with people with learning disabilities taking visible dance leader roles to inspire people to see what can be achieved when society is more inclusive.

As well as winning at the Best Businesswoman Awards, Jen has also recently been a finalist in the Charity of the Year category at the Enterprise Vision Awards and has also been nominated for the HER-Abilities Award at the upcoming She Inspires Awards in November.

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Jen said: "I'm honoured to have been nominated for not one, or two but three awards this year! Being nominated for these awards shows that people with learning disabilities can do amazing things with their lives if given a chance.

Jen Blackwell with her well-deserved awardJen Blackwell with her well-deserved award
Jen Blackwell with her well-deserved award
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"Dancing is my life, I am passionate about dance and about supporting people like me to have opportunities in the dance world.”

Jen’s mother Sue who is DanceSyndrome’s Chairperson, added: “I am incredibly proud to be the co-founder of DanceSyndrome alongside my daughter Jen and husband Malcolm. Being recognised, respected and valued for the person you are is a human right but not always afforded to a person with a learning disability.”

DanceSyndrome was also recently awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The charity will receive almost £180,000 to continue its inspirational work to use dance as a medium to empower and make positive changes for people living with learning disabilities.

To find out more about DanceSyndrome and their inspirational work CLICK HERE.

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